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What Is A Felony OVI Charge in Ohio?

Good people make mistakes all the time. They may have a momentary lapse in judgment, get caught up in a difficult situation, or not think things through before acting. When alcohol and driving enter the equation, these mistakes can lead to a calamitous OVI / DUI charge.

A felony OVI / DUI charge in Ohio is a very serious offense that may bring with it a litany of damaging consequences. A convicted driver may face substantial jail time, steep penalties, and the loss of driving privileges that may last the rest of their lives.

If you’re facing such a charge, you don’t need to face it alone. A skilled Columbus OVI attorney can listen to your case, discuss your options, review all applicable evidence, and plot a successful course forward.

What Does The Felony OVI / DUI Charge Entail?

The legal limit for alcohol in Ohio is .08% BAC for adults 21 and older while operating a motor vehicle. A refusal to take a breathalyzer test—or high results on a BAC test—may lead to an OVI / DUI charge.

Multiple OVI offenses are viewed more harshly by prosecutors, judges, and juries, and a fourth OVI / DUI offense in 10 years, coupled with a refusal to take a breathalyzer test or a high BAC result, is considered to be a fourth-degree felony.

What Are The Potential Penalties for a Felony OVI Charge in Ohio?

Naturally, the penalties for a fourth OVI / DUI conviction in 10 years are considerably higher than for a first DUI or second OVI conviction. Potential penalties may include:

  • Minimum of 120 days in jail or prison
  • Minimum fine of $1,350
  • Driver’s license suspended for at least three years
  • Mandatory participation in an alcohol or drug addiction treatment program
  • Limited driving privileges, as well as installation of an ignition interlock device in the driver’s vehicle
  • Vehicle forfeiture (if it belongs to the convicted driver)

What Are Some Common Defense Strategies?

Any driver charged with an OVI / DUI, especially their fourth in 10 years, faces an uphill battle. But a charge by no means guarantees conviction. To that end, we may pursue a number of strategies in defending your case.

  • Test Analysis: A qualified DUI / OVI lawyer will review the field sobriety tests, as well as any breath, blood, or urine tests that might have followed, to look for discrepancies or improper procedures.
  • Rights violations: Everyone charged with a crime is entitled to certain rights. If we find that those rights were violated before, during, or after an arrest, we may seek to have the charge dismissed.
  • Extenuating circumstances: We may look at the circumstances surrounding your case that warrant a reduced charge.

Are You Facing An OVI / DUI Charge? Contact Our Ohio DUI Attorneys Today

Being charged with a felony OVI / DUI charge can be overwhelming and nerve-wracking. Luckily, an experienced Columbus DUI attorney can help you make sense of the charge, review the facts of your case, discuss any potential penalties, outline your legal options, and develop a strategy for pursuing a fair outcome.

We’re happy to offer a free consultation to drivers facing a felony OVI / DUI charge. Email for a free consultation with one of our qualified attorneys.

Contact Our Ohio DUI Attorneys Today.

If you’ve been charged with a OVI / DUI, it’s important to know what you’re up against. If you have any questions left unanswered by this page, or if you need a competent, experienced Columbus DUI attorney to fight for you in court, please contact us at or via email at

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Luftman, Heck & Associates LLP
580 E Rich St Fl 2
Columbus, OH 43215-5335


FAX: (614) 413-2886